It Takes Work

Sunrise on the plains by MM

1 Corinthians 15:58 NLT
So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.

Webster’s definition of work: to exert one’s self for a purpose; to put forth effort for the attainment of an object; to labor; to be engagaed in a performance or task.

We cannot be rewarded without working toward a goal. We need to pay bills to eat, pay rent, enjoy life these are gifts of our labor.

Exodus 5:18 Go, therefore now and work for there will be no straw given you.

Another definition of work: to be effective; to have influence. We can be an influencer using our words and actions for good things or in impulse for poor examples.

Romans 8:28 We know all things work together for good to them that love God.

When I think of work, I think of energy spent for a cause. It can be physical; use of muscles, emotional; as when someone does the work of recovery such as in grief, addiction or mental health, or it can be spiritual; as in working through our faith as a child of God, gaining perspective of Jesus.

All types of work require determination, energy drain and a desire for new perspective. We all are born with purpose. Each of us are created uniquely to use our lives for good things in our sphere of influence.

Life may try to chip away our purpose by things done to us, by our own choices, or just plain circumstances beyond our control. We must stand up, push away the garbage of lies, step away from people who block our purpose and believe that the Lord has better connections (if we are patient) on the horizon.

We must work to discover our purpose, however, we can ask Jesus to show us His plan and then together we can carry the load. We must ask Jesus into our lives. We do not have to go it alone.

The Lord has given us a path to take that isn’t about work, it is about accepting the free gift of Jesus. It is our free choice to take the gift of love, grace, mercy, and eternal connection with Him. Jesus died on the cross for all His children to provide a way for our forever connection to God. It is not a forced relationship, it is our choice.

Open your hand, open your heart and let your soul connect to Him ( Jesus) today. Accept the free gift and let Him guide the labor and connections of your life. He wants to help you carry the burdens. All you have to do is ask Him. Jesus said in the book of Matthew to people who were seeking answers:

Matthew 11: 28 – 30 ” Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”

I did a eulogy at my Grandmothers funeral and this is the scripture I shared with my Irish family. I said, “Grandma is no longer struggling to breathe or with Dementia confusion, she is dancing through the Pearly Gates to Jesus.” My family needed to be reminded of the free gift, we all need to be reminded. 🙂

Do you want to decrease your burdens and heavy life load? Do you want the free gift? He promises to be with you if you ask. It takes action, a step of faith. It is between you and Jesus, it is a call to a relationship of love. If you are ready to open your heart it is amazing!!

Repeat after me: Jesus, I know I am a sinner. I want a new life with You. Please forgive my sins of __________________________________. I know You created me for a purpose. I repent ( turn away from the sins that blocked me from you). I believe that You are the Son of God and that You died for my sins. I want You to guide my life my life. Thank you for the free gift of love, grace, and mercy. I am a child of God. Amen.

Be in expectancy for a new sunrise; a new day is dawning. If you have prayed this prayer and honestly seek Jesus He is in your heart. Welcome to the family of God, I rejoice with you.

Letting Jesus guide your life is a daily action step. As humans, we can tend to want to take back control. I am grateful for Jesus. He understands our human conditions. Turn to Him and seek His wisdom. He can be trusted.

Next steps: Take time to discover, by opening the Bible, seek the wisdom of your Creator God. It takes forming a habit to make time daily to read and be instructed. Our ( sin patterns) habits can be hard to break but it will be worth the labor.

If you do not have a Bible, you can go online to the Bible gateway website: https://www.biblegateway.com/ or access the Bible through the to take further steps https://youversion.com/the-bible-app/ and access the Word of God.

Expect there to be interruptions when you try to make new habits seeking God. This isn’t about guilt if you miss a day. It is about restarting again. Jesus does not shame He wants a relationship of love. I have heard it said “habits can take 28 days”. You can be transformed to new beginnings or renewed commitments, new life.

The Book of John, found in the New Testament, of the Bible is a great place to start. As you learn about Jesus and his time with the disciples on earth, you will be moved by his love.

May you feel the love of Jesus today.

Run away Horse

Opie( Mr perfect Valentine), our free spirited palomino, had two adventures this month as a run away horse. Lessons in life were gained through this crazy country experience.

As we ( the hubby and I) took two days in 104 degree weather to harvest 235 hay bales, we became exhausted and sweaty. In the past our young adults were a part of our harvest team.

This year, our teen daughter was excited to drive the pickup as the ole parents grabbed the bales from the field and stacked them in the barn.

Opie, our 16 year old Palomino and his side kick, Loute, the brown and white goat tag teamed running through the back pasture.

I watched Opie nibble from the final rows of 40 different hay bales as he sauntered up the row. His eyes wandering to and fro. I distracted him by encouraging him to visit friends (fellow horses) in the back field. Temporarily my ruse worked. I went back to stacking hay on the trailer.

Suddenly, I looked behind me I yelled to my husband, “look out he’s making his way to the open gate”. My husband ran fast but Opie bolted whinnying happily as he snuck out the side gate to the street. I ran the opposite direction gathering halter and lead rope. I caught up with my husband breathing like a steaming tea pot, muttering and praying for safety.

Opie galloped to our neighbors gate trying to get into his friends’ pasture then reared and ran around the corner onto a busy country road. Loute, his buddy ran along with him, adding to the chaos as she made loud sounds, Loute, her German name fits perfect it means “loud”.

This crazy country comic relief reminds me it’s easy to be distracted by world or culture. Apparently the world outside the pasture was calling a rogue horse and goat to run!!!

Loute waddled alongside her buddy into trouble and all the way back to the corral and pasture. Her voice was louder than usual and obnoxious.

We must laugh at the craziness but stay the course. Find joy in the crazy! Life can be a sweaty hot mess. Don’t you agree?

Psalm 33:11 But the Lord’s plans stand firm forever; his intentions can never be shaken.  

Opie snuck out again three days ago, due to distractions of life, kids decisions, heat, hungry and tired, my husband left the gate to pasture open ;)!!!A stranger came to inform us by ringing our door bell, saying, “ do you have a palomino?” 😉 The kind man brought an apple, yet our stubborn horse knew mom and dad were coming with halter and lead rope to safely bring him back to his pasture, where sustenance, clear water, food and a fan was blowing away the summer heat. This is the place Opie could be refreshed and renewed.

 John 8:12 Jesus said to the people, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”

As I was trying to catch my breath the second time, I pondered how much each of us are like a horse, we need a halter and our Wise Creator to hold the lead line. Just like his owners, Opie must let us keep him safe and alive :). We must be willing to be lead to good holy places. So blessed Jesus wants us to seek Him and He will guide us.

Only You

Wow!! What amazing, raw, heartfelt lyrics to this song, ” It’s Always Been You”, by Phil Wickham. Have you felt as though no one understands you? Or that your mistakes are too big to break free?

The enemy wants you to give up on being made new and walking with the only One who really knows who you are?

There is a purpose for your precious life. There is a Savior, His Name is Jesus. It is the Name above all other Names, He awaits your voice. Call out to Him! He sees all things, He died knowing every detour and mistake, every joy and circumstance, He wants a relationship with you.

He will not force you into anything. He is patient, loving, and full of mercy. He awaits your active pursuit. Run to Him and be changed.

Thank you Phil Wickham, for being real. It really is refreshing to see a guy be so vulnerable.

Jesus, It always has been You that we can count on, You are for us not against us.

Poppies

An addition to my “Weeds” post, our hard effort in digging up weeds can be rewarded. You see there are good things under the surface. Dirt and weeds need to be tended and a personal circumstance needs our attention. Good things are possible for those willing to do the work. We can lean into another, the One who created us.

Psalm 139::14 
Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.

Jesus made you wonderfully and for a grand purpose. Maybe there are times when you don’t feel His love but He awaits your communication. Just as these beautiful poppies took time to form and explode into their orangy-red glory, every year they bless my garden with their brilliance. They needed water, soil adjustment and weed removal.

You are a beautiful poppy in the making. It is said that sometimes we have to call something what it is until we believe it for ourselves. Friend, You are a beautiful poppy may your face look up to the heavens. There is a God who made you marvelous. Call out to Him.

“Jesus, I am here, show me how to shine and help me to feel Your love”. All it takes is one step at a time.

Next time you see a poppy remember it is a little touch of heaven just like you.

Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.